Extra-oar-dinary

The New Zealand men's eight of (l to r) Thomas Mackintosh, Hamish Bond, Tom Murray, Michael Brake...
The New Zealand men's eight of (l to r) Thomas Mackintosh, Hamish Bond, Tom Murray, Michael Brake, Daniel Williamson, Phillip Wilson, Shaun Kirkham and Matt MacDonald have won gold in Tokyo. Photo: Getty
It was a golden hour with a silver lining.

New Zealand rocketed up the Olympic medal table thanks to a stunning effort by the country’s rowers at Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo yesterday.

The Kiwis collected two gold and a silver in about 60 minutes.

New Zealand's Emma Twigg was rewarded for her perseverance with a gold medal after getting fourth...
New Zealand's Emma Twigg was rewarded for her perseverance with a gold medal after getting fourth at two successive Olympic games. Photo: Getty Images
Emma Twigg struck first. She had to settle for fourth at the London and Rio Games, but dominated the field to win gold in the women’s single sculls in an Olympic best time of 7min 13.97sec.

Agony finally gave way to the sweet feeling of success

"Crossing the line it was disbelief," the 34-year-old said afterwards.

"I didn't actually hear the hooter and I thought for a minute I'd stopped before [the end]. I'm lost for words. I can't believe it."

The New Zealand women's eight Ella Greenslade, Emma Dyke, Lucy Spoors, Kelsey Bevan, Grace...
The New Zealand women's eight Ella Greenslade, Emma Dyke, Lucy Spoors, Kelsey Bevan, Grace Prendergast, Kerri Gowler, Beth Ross, Jackie Gowler and Caleb Shepherd compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Getty Images
You can believe it. It happened. And this also happened. The New Zealand men’s eight won gold 49 years after the country last tasted victory in the event.

What a sight it was. The big black boat had edged its way to the front of the field by the 1000m mark and had opened up a handy lead at the next checkpoint.

Near the front of the boat was New Zealand’s most decorated rower and one of our greatest Olympians, Hamish Bond.

Dunedin-born Bond won gold with Eric Murray in the coxless pair in London and Rio. He also claimed bronze on the bike in the time trial at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

About halfway through the hour of power, the New Zealand women’s eight won silver.

Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler, who won gold in the women’s pair on Thursday, helped power the women on to the podium.

And on dry land, the tennis doubles team of Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell added a bronze to the New Zealand medal tally after beating the US combination of Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (3), 6-2.

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